First “Hands-On” Reviews of the Apple MacBook Air Laptop

The new ultra-portable Apple MacBook Air was recently introduced at the 2008 MacWorld Expo, and it has not surprisingly created a huge buzz in the notebook computer world. Today, the first hands-on reviews have been released by 3 of the largest news organizations in the world: USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek.
Apple MacBook Air's ultra-slim profileApple MacBook Air's ultra-slim profile

It seems that all of the reviewers loved the lightweight and slim design of the MacBook Air. The Wall Street journal said, "(the MacBook Air) is a beautiful, amazingly thin computer". USA Today reported, "I've used this Twiggy-thin, 3-pound marvel for several days, I can also report that it's a remarkably sturdy-feeling machine, especially given its size and weight." Finally, Newsweek stated in their review of the MacBook Air, "certainly Apple has fulfilled its goals in terms of thinness. The Air is a lithe sheath of aluminum so slim that it can slide under my office door."

OK; I think that everyone understands and agrees that the Apple MacBook Air is an ultra-compact laptop that is built to be very portable, but how does the Air compare with other laptops in terms of actual computing and usability?

Well, it seems that all 3 of the reviewers loved the large, brightly-lit 13.3-inch screen, and they also seemed to enjoy the feel and look of the keyboard that features automatic backlighting. The reviewers also seemed to like the snappy performance of the Air's processor. What aspects of the MacBook Air did the reviewers not like? Here's a list of the most common dislikes:

  • No Ethernet port or FireWire connection

  • Only 1 USB port (in the test models)

  • In order to play DVDs or music from discs, you must purchase the external SuperDrive ($99)

  • "Smallish" 80GB hard drive (in the test models)

  • Battery life was lower than advertised, and once the battery needs to be replaced, it must be replaced by a professional.

The overall feeling throughout these initial reviews of the Apple MacBook Air is that this $1,800 laptop computer is extremely innovative, but it's not for everyone. Look beyond the awesome design and 3 pound body of the Air, because just like your Mother always said, "beauty is only skin deep".

Sources: AppleInsider and Apple

Joe Eitel's Gadget Blog

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Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous